Are you facing the question: “Which is better? MBA or PGDM? MBA or Masters in Business Administration and PGDM or Post Graduate Diploma in Management are both management courses that can be undertaken at Master’s level. These courses come with a commercial orientation thus making it really difficult for individuals to differentiate between the two. They are business-oriented courses and their main objective is equipping the students who want to move ahead in the hierarchy and are looking to enter the field of management. While both PGDM and MBA have similar results in terms of prospective and employment, there are certain subtle differences. Below, you will find some major differences between PGDM and MBA:

MBA Courses are Available Only at Universities

In India, an MBA degree will be available from only those management institutes that are affiliated to universities. It is to be noted that the IIMs in India will not be able to offer MBAs because they are not affiliated to any university. The institutes that are not affiliated to universities are autonomous and they can provide Post Graduate Diploma in Management degree. Nevertheless, there are regulatory bodies like the AICTE in place for the approval of these programmes.

Diploma Vs Degree

This is probably one of the major differences between PGDM and MBA. At the end of their PGDM courses, students are given a Diploma. Nevertheless, on completing their MBA, students get a degree. There are many students along with their parents who are of the view that degree courses hold greater value in comparison to diploma courses. However, this is not true. All top B-Schools and Indian Institutes of Management provide PGDM courses. Majority of these institutes function as autonomous entities or the ones that are not affiliated to Universities. They conduct their very own management courses.


The syllabus for an MBA course is designed by a university but the syllabus for a PGDM course is prepared by an individual institute. It is important to note that the elective subjects and the core curriculum for MBA will be pretty much similar in different MBA colleges affiliated to the same university. Since PGDM courses are designed by individual institutes, their course curriculum is flexible and can easily change as per the industry requirements every year.

The Affordability Factor

Undoubtedly, MBA is more affordable in comparison to PGDM. This is because the fees is quite similar to university standard. Studies have proved the fact that majority of the MBA courses come with low tuition fees. This is mainly due to the fact that universities approved by the government offer the MBA degrees. Such universities get their financial grants and aid from the respective government making their degrees cheaper for the candidates. On the other hand, the students undertaking PGDM courses need to bear the expenses of the entire programme. Nevertheless, this is not true for all PGDM courses as there are MBA degrees that charge higher fees like the ones at IIFT.

Different in Focus

A PGDM course is industry-oriented and has its focus on developing soft skills. It paves a student’s way for a very strong and successful corporate career by preparing him or her for high level positions across the industry. The MBA course is exam-oriented and has its focus on the theoretical aspects of management. It helps in developing business knowledge and technical skills. Therefore, if you are in the look out of a career in the exigent field of management, you must definitely choose PGDM.


Lastly, it can be said that both PGDM and MBA are beneficial courses for treading up the ladder of success.